The battle between Indiana and Illinois featured two teams on the bottom of their respective divisions within the Big Ten. Despite Illinois having home-field advantage, the Hoosiers held the first lead of the game and never gave it up.
The first quarter was filled with punts by both teams, but by halftime, Indiana scored twice, giving itself its largest lead of the game, 14-0. Illinois would get within three early in the fourth quarter, but never got closer after that. With the win, the Hoosiers are now 4-6 on the season, while the Illini are 2-8.
Below, find out what happened throughout the Hoosiers-Illini game.
Illinois-Indiana football live updates, score
Indiana 24, Illinois 14 (FINAL)
Indiana 24, Illinois 14 (Q4, 5:45): Two drives after the Illini pulled within three, the Hoosiers responded with a touchdown drive of its own. Lagow found Cobbs for a 5-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead back to 10.
Indiana 17, Illinois 14 (Q4, 12:59): After receiving the punt, the Illini drove down the field quickly and ended it with a 14-yard touchdown pass from George to Caleb Reams. The Illini are back within striking distance.
Indiana 17, Illinois 7 (Q4, 15:00): The fourth quarter is under way and Indiana has to punt the ball to Illinois.
Indiana 17, Illinois 7 (Q3, 5:13): In the later stages of the third quarter, the Hoosiers connected on a 28-yard field goal, stalling in the Illini’s redzone. Despite settling for three, the 10-point lead might be enough to hold onto.
Indiana 14, Illinois 7 (Q3, 14:42): One play into the second half and Illinois has found a spark offensively. George found Louis Dorsey for a 77-yard touchdown to bring the team to within seven points.
Indiana 14, Illinois 0 (Halftime): Indiana racked up 266 yards of total offense in the half — to go along with its 13 first downs. Illinois garnered 72 yards, three first downs and punted the ball seven times.
Indiana 14, Illinois 0 (Q2, 0:48): Facing a fourth-and-one, Indiana’s Lagow found WR Simmie Cobbs Jr. for a 35-yard strike to get to the Illinois 8-yard-line. Lagow followed it up with an 4-yard TD pass to Ian Thomas.
Indiana 7, Illinois 0 (Q2, 3:04): Following the Hoosiers’ touchdown, Illinois QB Jeff George Jr. completed a 31-yard pass, but the drive eventually stalled out due to a penalty and sack. Another punt takes place for the Illini and the Hoosiers take over at its 37-yard-line.
Indiana 7, Illinois 0 (Q2, 6:30): After nine punts took place to start the game, Indiana drove down the field and capped its drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run by Morgan Ellison.
Illinois 0, Indiana 0 (Q2, 15:00): The first quarter has come to a close and both offenses have done nothing significant. There have been four punts and a Richard Lagow interception. Illinois currently faces a fourth-and-four at midfield.
Illinois 0, Indiana 0 (Q1, 15:00): Illinois kicks off to Indiana and the Hoosiers will get the ball to start.
Illinois-Indiana football preview, picks
Illinois and Indiana play at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Time: Noon, ET
Date: November 11, 2017.
Location: Champaign, Illinois
TV channel: Big Ten Network
Live stream: BTN2Go.com
Odds: Despite being the home team, Illinois is currently a 9-point underdog, according to MyBookie, for Saturday afternoon’s contest with Indiana. The over/under for this game is 49 points.
Illinois (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten) hasn’t won a game since beating Western Kentucky, 20-7, on Sept. 9. The week before, the Fighting Illini secured a 3-point home win over Ball State in their season opener. But since then, Illinois has ended up on the losing side of every game its played. Saturday’s game provides the Fighting Illini with perhaps their best chance to earn a league victory.
Indiana (3-6, 0-6) sits in last place in the Big Ten East division. The Hoosiers have trudged through a difficult conference schedule thus far, losing to ranked teams such as Ohio State, Penn State Michigan State and Michigan.
The main question Illinois will have to answer is if it will be able to score against Indian’s formidable defense, which ranks 39th in the country in total yards allowed and gives up about 349 yards per game.
Illinois enters the game as one of the worst offenses in the FBS. The Fighting Illini average 16.7 points— the sixth-worst mark in Division I-A — and manages to gain just over 300 yards per game.
While junior quarterback Chayce Crouch has earned some time under center, Illinois’ main signal caller has been sophomore Jeff George Jr. He’s played in 7 of the past 8 contests. He’s produced mediocre numbers since earning the job, including a 52.3 percent completion percentage and 8 interceptions compared to 5 touchdowns.
In a 24-17 loss at Minnesota on Oct. 21 — the closest the Fighting Illini have come to earning a Big Ten victory — George had one of his better games. The 6-foot-3 Indianapolis native completed 18 of his 23 passes, threw one touchdown and did not throw an interception. Still, Minnesota ran for 333 yards to pick up the win.
On the ground, freshman Mike Epstein has been the top option. Fellow freshman Ra’Von Booker leads the team with 67 rushes and 4 touchdowns but is gaining a measly 3 yards per push. Epstein’s average yards per carry (6.1) is double that, meaning the Fighting Illini will likely rely on him for explosive runs against the Hoosiers.
Wide receivers Ricky Smalling, Malik Turner and Mike Dudek each have at least 20 catches, with Smalling leading the team with 415 receiving yards. The trio has combined for 3 touchdowns.
On defense, the Fighting Illini will be challenged with containing quarterback Richard Lagow, who has thrown for 1,038 yards and 8 touchdowns. In a 45-17 loss Wisconsin last weekend, he completed 20 of his 34 passes for 226 yards to go along with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
He’ll likely be looking to wide receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr., one of the Hoosiers’ top producers this season. He has 662 yards and 6 touchdowns already.
Stopping those two players will likely be Illinois junior linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips, who has a team-high 65 total tackles this season. Defensive backs Stanley Green and Bennett Williams are the other Fighting Illini players with at least 50 tackles. Bennett, a freshman, also leads the team with 2 interceptions.
After Indiana, Illinois travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a date with the No. 13 Buckeyes. The Fighting Illini have played three games against ranked opponents this season — USF, Iowa and Wisconsin — and have lost each of them. They were outscored, 116-50, in those games.
After playing the Buckeyes, Illinois closes out the season with a home contest against Northwestern.
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